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August 28, 2006

Okanagan Valley

Filed under: Food & Wine,Holidays — Bob @ 7:23 pm

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Eileen and I spent a long weekend in the Okanagan Valley here in B.C. We went out there to visit a few of the many wineries in that region, do a bit of sight-seeing, and relax a bit. We were not disappointed.

We stayed at the Heritage Inn in Naramata. Its an old restored hotel set in a sleepy little village at the end of the road from Penticton. We spent a lot of time eating and drinking at the wine bar. The hotel has a very relaxing atmosphere and we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

We visited a dozen or so different wineries in the region stretching from Oliver to Naramata, stopping at as many vineyards we knew as those we didn’t. It was a fantastic way to discover new places and rediscover the places behind the names we knew.

Our favorite location for the all-around experience was Lake Breeze. Their Pinot Blanc was perfect for sipping before lunch on their patio, and their food from the outdoor kitchen was terrific. We tend to drink more reds than whites however, so we had to press on searching the other venues.

The two most interesting locations were Elephant Island and Silver Sage. Elephant Island specializes in non-grape wines. We almost passed as we didn’t really have high hopes but we’re glad we took the chance. Their pear wine is very delicate and their Cassis is amazing. Silver Sage offers some truly unique products like a Gewurztraminer soaked in sage and a late-harvest dessert wine with a jalapeno pepper in the bottle. Their name for this weird concoction Flame is quite appropriate. Their logo is creepy though.

Our favorite reds came from Kettle Valley and Burrowing Owl. Both offerings will need some time to mature, but a couple of years in the cellar will do the job. The picture in the corner above is a snapshot of a few of the wines we purchased on the trip; our wine rack is now pretty full.

We’d highly recommend a visit. Three or four days is more than enough to make a serious study of wine and food. And the scenery is quite pleasant too!

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